Ford's F-Series truck gain softens blow of coronavirus-driven decline
Ford Motor Co.’s sales declined less than expected in the second quarter on the strength of its F-Series pickup line, which gained market share and has much more inventory than its key competitors.
The automaker’s light-vehicle sales dropped 32.9%, beating analysts’ estimates of a 34.2% drop and narrowly outperforming the overall industry. The F-Series, Ford’s best seller, gained 2.6 points of retail share even as the truck line’s deliveries declined by more than a fifth because of coronavirus-related plant shutdowns.
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Pickups were among the strongest sellers as the industry weathered recessionary conditions before factories resumed production in mid-May. Ford sold 180,825 F-Series trucks in the second quarter, far outpacing General Motor Co.’s Chevrolet Silverado and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Ram. Ford is now at full production and has twice the inventory of Silverado and 55,000 more units of supply than Ram, according to Mark LaNeve, Ford’s U.S. sales chief.
“We’re in a much better position than GM and certainly better than FCA, I mean dramatically better," LaNeve said in an interview. “We’re optimistic that these recurrences of the virus get under control and that Q3 can improve somewhat from Q2 and we keep this month-to-month steady improvement."
Ford will start selling a redesigned F-150 pickup later this year that will include reclining sleeper seats and hands-free driving technology.